The judgment of the Rivers State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Port Harcourt dismissing the petition of the African Action Congress (AAC) and its governorship Candidate, Biokpomabo Awara for abandoning their petition has been set aside by the Election Appeal panel sitting in Port Harcourt.
The five-man panel, therefore, directed all parties to return to the tribunal to hear the matter on its merit.
In its unanimous judgment, the appeal panel disclosed that the appellant did no harm for requesting to regularize and separate the suit.
On the second appeal by the Awara, on the consent judgment and preliminary objections by respondents, the five man appeal panel in a unanimous judgment also set aside the judgment of tribunal, saying that the tribunal erred in their decision.
The court held that the position of Supreme Court on the case of the All Progressives Congress and Abraham Umar and twenty-two others on which the first respondent counsel, Henry Bello and others laid their argument was different from the matter in contention.
The court, consequently, ordered that parties should return to the tribunal to hear the matter on its merit.
Reacting outside the court, counsel to AAC Governorship Candidate, David Adegbe after explaining the issues in contention, expressed joy over the judgment of the appeal court.
“What the Appeal Court has done is to give impetus to the point we were trying to make at the Tribunal that they refused to listen to us.
“What they have said is that for all it is worth that by the Law now, you cannot dismiss any petition. Any petition should be heard fully.
“Election petitions have a timeline. They have only 180days and so look at us now and before we try to go back to the tribunal and try to sort ourselves out. These are the instances the Law is trying to avoid,” Adegbe said.